Like other Building Trades apprenticeships, the Laborers’ (LIUNA's) training program prepares men and women for careers in construction. The apprenticeship program at the Northern California Laborers Training Center in San Ramon is relatively new and has been providing training for new laborers for just 12 years. Apprenticeship coordinator Manny Carrillo said as the work that Laborers do has become more specialized and the workers need to learn more skills, the program is now mandatory.
My favorite event of the year was on Tuesday this week, when the San Diego Labor Council and United Way’s Labor Participation co-hosted the annual Food and Toy distribution here in San Diego. Dozens of our unions and community supporters came together to donate food and toys for unemployed and underemployed local families, we were able to help nearly three hundred local families this holiday season. Their commitment and generosity are truly an inspiration for our entire year of hard work.
There are many positive things about being a housekeeper. I get to meet the world. I have a real bond with the other women I work with. I also take pride in working in a field where I give comfort and pleasure to people when the travel.
There are also challenges to being a housekeeper. Everyday the work is exhausting and physically debilitating. And management doesn’t always really listen when we have ideas about how to make the work safer or more efficient.
I care about my job, but also I see how things could be better. That’s why Hyatt needs someone like me on its Board of Directors. The current corporate officers might have business sense, but I have common sense. They push paper, I do the physical labor.
One of the proposals floated for months in the fiscal bluff debate in Washington, D.C., is a change to the formula used to measure inflation for Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) called the "chained" CPI. Let's be clear: This is a benefit cut. These COLAs make sure seniors' income keeps pace with the rising costs of housing and food. The "chained" CPI would cut future Social Security benefits by as much as $2,432 for someone who is 17 years old today. Studies from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) show that not only is the "chained" CPI a benefit cut, it eventually will lead to higher taxes for most working people.
On Tuesday, Michigan became the nation's 24th state, and the most unionized state, to enact right-to-work legislation. Thousand of protesters failed to dissuade Republican governor Rick Snyder from signing a law that will likely weaken unions and lower wages, but do nothing to help the state's economy. Along with anti-union legislation in other Midwestern States, however, it could transform the national political landscape.
For the past two years, the Governor had publicly stated that "divisive" right-to-work legislation was "not on his agenda." Then, at the last minute, he endorsed the bill because it would protect "worker choice" on union membership and help to grow the Michigan economy - both highly questionable claims.
A 62-year-old paint maker died while cleaning a paint tank. A 24-year-old maintenance worker died while stripping a church baptismal font. Both were using paint strippers containing methylene chloride, a widely used solvent that can cause death and serious illness among workers and consumers in enclosed spaces.
Methylene chloride is a cancer-causing chemical also used in the production of polymer foams and as a degreaser. Methylene chloride most often affects the central nervous system (the brain) causing headaches, nausea, dizziness, clumsiness, drowsiness, and other effects like those of drinking alcohol. At very high levels it can cause unconsciousness and death.
After Friday’s tragic massacre of 20 school children and six adults in Newtown, Conn., American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten told "Meet the Press" yesterday, “Schools have to be safe sanctuaries…[there] has to be a conversation and action about both mental health as well as gun laws. We can actually do things in schools, we can actually have more guidance counselors, we can have more social workers, psychologists, all of whom have been cut because of the [budget] cuts. We can do wraparound services. We can do more of these things…to destigmatize mental illness and to have more access as well as a whole package of sensible gun laws."
Here in California, we didn’t wait for the folks in Washington to make up their minds – we’re already implementing a carbon price. Our landmark clean energy and climate law, AB 32, led to a successful first auction of greenhouse gas pollution credits that raised $290 million for the state in November. These funds will go to a variety of investments in energy efficiency, greener infrastructure, clean energy jobs, and other priorities that focus on making life better for all Californians.
We invited over some friends with a range of activist experiences to watch the new film, “Heist" Who Stole the American Dream?” with us. The film focused on a single memo written for the Chamber of Commerce in 1971 as a cornerstone of the entire worldwide economic crisis. We wanted to see whether “Heist” provoked a good discussion about the economy and whether it provided a framework for understanding what’s been happening to us.
It seems appropriate that after Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) shepherded through the state House and Senate the right-wing extremist and corporate CEO backed “right to work” for less legislation—that he had long-called "too divisive to pursue"—without any public input, that he would sign the measure in secret yesterday.
After spending more than $1.6 billion, Tesco, the world’s third- largest food retailer, has finally thrown in the towel and announced the closure of its Fresh & Easy stores. This move brings closure to the British company’s effort to establish a foothold in California’s highly competitive grocery industry. Many analysts believe this decision has been a long time coming, with Fresh & Easy stores never seeing the kind of market penetration that the U.K.-based giant expected from the chain. Investors cheered the December 5 announcement, but U.S. workers have reason to celebrate too — this marks the end of a five-year struggle with Tesco.
The South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council announced the election of Ben Field as the organization’s new Executive Officer. Field will succeed Cindy Chavez, who led the labor organization starting in 2008. Chavez is leaving the position to focus on her duties as Executive Director of Working Partnerships USA, a non-profit public policy think-tank.
Serving as Chief of Staff for the past three and a half years, Field has been responsible for running the largest, most sophisticated, grassroots political campaign operation in the South Bay. He oversees political campaign work carried out by the Committee on Political Education (COPE) advocating for candidates and public policies that are good for working families.
Four hundred and fifty ILWU office clerical workers ended their one-week strike on December 4th after securing new protections against the outsourcing for good jobs that support working families in the Southern California harbor community.
The tentative agreement – subject to membership ratification – includes significant new protections that will make it much harder for jobs to be outsourced to Texas, Taiwan and other locations around the globe.
Michigan is poised to become the latest state to pass "right to work" for less legislation, a mislabeled policy that is designed to weaken the rights and wages of working families. As is often the case in recent years, extreme anti-worker legislation, like the law in Michigan, can be traced back to Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and the group's founders Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who fund a host of extreme right-wing organizations.